14 Product Photography Tips For Beginners

Do you still think about taking pictures with the wind-up disposable cameras at camp? Would you say that the majority of your photographic abilities come from snapping selfies? You’re at the correct place, then!

Do not fear if your employer asks you to take some “high-quality” product pictures to advertise your company online or for promotional purposes. With the help of these fourteen suggestions, ideas, and methods for product photography, I’m sure you can learn all you need.

Why, therefore, should you pay attention to me? I did obtain AP college credit for my darkroom photography abilities back in the day, not that I’m bragging or anything. In undergrad, I majored in studio art, and in my free time since then, I’ve continued to adore photography. My preferred instrument is now my iPhone, which is usually held in my hand, rather than film or even my DSLR (sad, I know). The advancement of camera phones is amazing. Nowadays, you don’t even need pricey equipment to get the job done because your iPhone already has a high-quality camera built in.

And after you finish the work, your employer will be amazed, and your items will sell like hotcakes. High-quality product photography is essential for e-commerce enterprises to increase sales: 93% of consumers say that a product’s outside look is what counts when making a purchase. So let’s start with some basic product photography strategies that will help you progress from a beginner taking selfies to an almost professional commercial photographer.

Product Photography Tips

You probably don’t have much time for photography studies between perfecting your Google Shopping data feed and writing very effective Amazon product descriptions.

As a result, we’ll start with five fundamental pieces of advice for newcomers to product photography.

1. Use Proper Lighting

Let’s start with lighting for product photography. Both your merchandise and your background won’t seem as good in poor lighting as they do to you in person. According to Tony Northrup in an essay for the Digital Photography School, a white backdrop without light doesn’t seem white in the picture; instead, it appears grey.

Lighting for product photography comes in two flavors: artificial lighting and natural lighting. Which setting you choose will depend on the product you’re photographing, the goal of the picture, and the advertising platform you’re using. For product shots that include culinary products, people, and apparel, natural lighting may work exceptionally well. These photos with a natural appearance can be used on social media platforms like Instagram.

If you’re taking inside photos, you should position your subject such that it faces a window to make the most of the available light. On the other hand, if you can take product photos outside, do so! The early morning and late afternoon when the sun is out but not too strong are the greatest times to accomplish this. Days that are a little bit cloudy are also preferred. You will get a lot of glare in your photographs if you pull out your shoe inventory in the midday light.

On the other hand, artificial product photography lighting is preferred if your product is typically used inside (such as cookware), has minute details (such as artwork), or is being sold on Amazon and Google Shopping. Fortunately, learning the fundamentals and creating a straightforward studio setup may help you overcome your fear of light.

Although using artificial lighting for product photography might be scary, it is vital for those of you who advertise on Google Shopping and Amazon. Visit this (light-stalking-specific) guide and this (Pinch of Yum-specific) one for advice.

2. Use A Tripod

Tripods may appear to be a geeky, superfluous piece of technical gear, but they significantly improve the sharpness and caliber of your product photography. Additionally, they are not always costly or challenging to use.

In essence, tripods serve as supports that help steady your camera when you have a shaky hand. If you want your product photos to seem expert and high-quality, using a tripod will guarantee a blur reduction.

There are a variety of tripods available for any sort of camera, whether you are using a more complicated DSLR or a basic iPhone. Purchase one for your camera on Amazon.com. For better-looking product pictures, setting up a tripod takes only a minute more.

3. Shoot For The Edit

Have you ever written a paper late at night while only half awake and rationalized, “I can easily rewrite this in the morning.” When morning comes, you had to start the assignment from scratch because your original draught was so poor that editing it was taking longer than it would have to.

Lazy photographers experience this. If you think you can slap together some shoddy product photos and use Photoshop to your advantage, think again. Although photographic editing is a talent that may significantly improve a product photo’s quality, these tweaks can only be applied so much. I like to picture editing as adding minor improvements to a work of art that is already stunning. This is an issue if you need to fully crop anything out or change the background.

Try to shoot for the edit while taking your product photos. By adopting this attitude, you’ll take pictures with the knowledge that your editing will be modest and will only serve to improve the image rather than change it entirely. This will provide a far more desired outcome.

4. Take A Basic Photo Editing Class

Even though most of the time, editing should be minimal, it’s still important to have this ability in your toolkit when taking product photos. Making a few little tweaks, such as adjusting the saturation or even hiding minor faults in your product shot, may have a significant impact on the final result.

The problem with editing is that there are SO MANY things you can do that if you try to do it on your own without any professional instruction, it can be extremely daunting. To avoid being entirely overwhelmed while attempting to edit your product images, especially if you are using a tool like Photoshop, you should gain some fundamental information from the experts.

Don’t worry if you’re not willing to spend a lot of money on a picture editing course. Just visit YouTube. You may learn the fundamentals of the editing program of your choice for free by accessing one of the many available tutorials.

5. Take Inspiration From Brands You Love

It is usually a good idea to seek inspiration from others. You probably already have a few favorite brands in mind. Examine their product pictures and consider whether a similar angle or styling would be appropriate for your goods.

Consider running a women’s shop in your community. Take a look at the product photographs of your favorite women’s apparel businesses on Instagram and consider why you like them. You might adore the JCrew article underneath. Can you do the same with your products? The essential background and monochromatic color scheme effectively emphasize the goods.

6. Get To Know The Rule of Thirds

Because it is a useful technique, the rule of thirds is often taught in both the majority of beginner photography programs and many art classes. This rule encourages you to think of your canvas as being divided into nine equal halves, like in the illustration below.

The rule of thirds was developed to assist artists in developing a harmonious composition in each work. Choosing where to put your piece’s main focus, your product, is also helpful. Your objective is to put your goods along the lines, ideally at the intersection of two lines.

According to Darren Rowse, creator of Digital School Photography, studies have shown that while examining photos, viewers’ eyes instinctively go toward one of the crossing points rather than the shot’s focal point. Instead of fighting against this natural manner of perceiving a picture, the rule of thirds complements it.

7. Use Simple Props

Don’t go overboard when choosing your product photography props! Always keep in mind that the product should be the main subject of each shot. Props may be useful, though, and can make the picture more appealing to the spectator.

So how do you select the appropriate props? When it comes to props, I usually advise erring on the side of caution: make them straightforward, in line with the color scheme, and pertinent to the scenario or your product.

Take the following illustration from baker Erin Clarkson, who I follow on Instagram. She utilized a basic white cake stand, a caramel jar (which is significant because it is a necessary ingredient in the recipe), and lovely fresh flowers for a subdued flash of natural color to display her new cake recipe. I adore how she used these elements to highlight the beauty of her end product, even though this shot might stand on its own with only the caramel sauce as a prop without the flowers.

8. Take Multiple Shots From Varying Angles

It could be tempting to only snap one or two of each product, then continue shooting if you have a reasonably extensive range of items to photograph. However, as said in tip #3, this won’t assist with shooting for the edit. Your buyers will be able to see exactly what your goods appear like if you take several pictures from various perspectives. Additionally, it will assist you to have alternatives when it comes time to modify, and you won’t be left debating whether to start over totally.

I like to take pictures of food from various side angles and from above while I’m attempting to publish it.

Sometimes I have a notion of which viewpoint will be effective, but I’m astonished to discover that it’s the exact opposite of what I thought I would choose. The beauty of product photography is that you may take multiple pictures and then pick the finest one with care.

9. Put Your Product in Context

It’s crucial that potential buyers can see themselves utilizing your goods. After all, why would someone purchase your product if she has trouble visualizing herself using it when she views online product images?

A person with low discretionary cash typically needs to be certain that a product would enhance everyday living before making a purchase.

When some things are taken out of their environment, it might be hard to see oneself utilizing them. For instance, someone shopping for a couch for his new apartment probably won’t be able to picture himself sitting on one that is advertised against a white background.

10. Follow The Product Photography Specifications

E-commerce advertisers like you have access to a wealth of options thanks to Amazon and Google Shopping. In exchange, you must, of course, adhere to a few platform-specific guidelines for your product photos.

Specifications For Amazon Product Photography: Main Variation Or No Variant Code;

  • Product images must be sent as TIFF, JPG, GIF, or .angles (.tif,.jpg,.jpeg, or.png).
  • Each product photo file name must adhere to the following format: product identifier (for example, UPC), period, followed by the appropriate file extension (e.g., .jpg).

A product image file name may be F000345123.jpg, for instance.

  • Professional product images are required. No pictures are permitted.
  • You cannot include more items or goods in the picture.
  • The product picture for a book, CD, or DVD must be wholly made up of the cover art. At least 85% of the frame should be occupied by the other product images.
  • There should be a white backdrop. There may be no extra text, graphics, or pictures.

Amazon Product Photography Specifications: All Other Products

  • The image needs to be expertly taken and relevant to the item being offered.
  • To illustrate scale, additional goods and items are acceptable.
  • Text, demonstrative graphics, backdrops and environments, close-up photographs, and cropped photos are all acceptable.

Google Shopping Product, Photography Specifications

  • TIFF (.tif/.tiff), JPG (.jpg/.jpeg), GIF (.gif), PNG (.png), or BMP (.bmp) files are required for product photographs.
  • You depict the thing you’re offering truthfully. Stock images are not permitted.
  • Watermarks, borders, and promotional writing are not permitted.
  • Photos of non-apparel products must have a minimum resolution of 100 x 100 pixels. At least 250 x 250 pixels must be present in any product photographs for clothing. You cannot enlarge an image or submit one that is greater than 64 megapixels.
  • It is extremely advised to choose a background that is white, grey, or light in color (and required).
  • The photo URL has to be crawlable and point to the primary product photo.

11. When in Doubt, Stick To A Plain White Background

In my undergraduate food photography class, I immediately saw how effective basic backdrops are. The worst thing you can do when photographing anything like food is to place your prop against a crowded, patterned background. Your mouthwatering meal of pasta or brilliantly designed cake ought to be the center of attention, but the obtrusive surroundings take its place.

The thing you are attempting to sell won’t get buried in the photo if your background is clear and straightforward. White is usually a wonderful choice to make sure your product is the star against a crisp and clean backdrop, even if other light hues like pastel blue, pink, and yellow can occasionally work nicely.

If you want to use your product photographs for purposes other than social media or your website, choosing a white backdrop is a smart idea. White backgrounds are also necessary if you plan to use these images for Amazon product listings. Although it’s not strictly necessary, this white backdrop for Google Shopping advertisements is a highly recommended best practice.

12. Display The Details

You may talk as much as you want about the finer points of your product, but there’s no assurance that your potential buyers will understand what you’re saying.

While some individuals can merely read a few bullet points and conjure up precise mental representations, many others require visual aids to help them comprehend information.

Take the time to take pictures of each significant feature to make sure that even the most visual learners have a thorough understanding of what your product has to offer. Nothing is left to the (often incorrect) imagination in this way.

If you offer backpacks, for instance, your product listing has to include images of all the greatest features, such as mesh pockets on the outside, a laptop sleeve inside, lots of zipper pockets for supplies, etc. Giving your prospects access to these images helps them understand what you’re offering much better, increasing the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase.

13. Create A Diagram

This product photography advice is particularly intended for those who offer products with unique qualities that can’t be adequately conveyed through regular images. People won’t purchase your product, it should go without saying unless they are aware of how it operates.

A simple diagram is a useful tool for quickly identifying each of your product’s parts and outlining how they all work together to form the complete.

The mattress is divided into four halves as the salesperson closes in on it in this image. As a result, any consumer who wasn’t aware of the differences between memory foam mattresses and regular mattresses do so today.

To put it another way, you’ve utilized a diagram to show the distinct value your product provides to the customer. You can’t expect much more from a product image than that.

14. Show Off Your Range

Many of you operate many businesses that deal in the same kind of goods. People that sell dinner plates, for instance, probably sell more than just one type of plate.

This is crucial since every one of your prospects has individual preferences. Few customers shopping for dinner plates have the same precise concept of the plate they’re looking for.

As a result, it makes sense for you to highlight the variety of your items to achieve your aim of generating clicks from interested customers. Your product photo will appeal to a larger range of people this way.

This vendor is on the correct track. They attract a sizable variety of customers by providing each of the four plates in the set similar attention. Many more clicks will result from the advertisement than it would have if it had just shown one dish in the picture since each plate would attract the interest of various viewers.